Nebraska Center for Writers

by William J Reynolds

THE PRIVATE EYE BOOKS all begin with the hard-boiled hero in his down-at-heels office, sitting behind his battered wooden desk, leaning back in his creaky swivel chair, his feet up (which explains how the desk came to be so battered), a glass of whiskey in his hand, a half-empty bottle on the blotter. Half-full, if you're an optimist. Across the desk from him sits the client: female, of course; attractive, of course; disapproving, natch. She's having a hard time getting to the point, and our hero is doing his macho best to ignore her, focusing his attention on the spinning of a spider in a corner of the ceiling or the buzzing of a blue-bottle fly against the dirty window. Eventually the flinty-eyed protagonist will (a) get the client sufficiently ticked off to tell him what she's there for or (b) get the client sufficiently ticked off to leave. Doesn't matter; the case will come back around to him one way or the other. Trouble Follows Me, and so on.

Reprinted with permission
from Things Invisible
Copyright © 1989
by William J Reynolds
GP Putnam's Sons

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The Rock

Nebraska Center for Writers